If Donald Trump is in bed with the Russians, how come the Russians are letting their most valuable intelligence assett die an agonizing political death?
Russia has no interest in Donald Trump, and that should make you very nervous, because it means Vladimir Putin isn’t done interfering in American politics and the destruction of Hillary Clinton is only phase one of Putin’s plans.
If it was true that Donald Trump was in bed with the Russians and worked with them to engineer an electoral victory, then he is literally the most valuable intelligence asset Russia has ever had. Indeed, Donald Trump would be the most valuable intelligence asset anyone has ever owned.
A relationship like the one suspected with Donald Trump is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Russians. It’s a chance to have direct access to the inner deliberations of the most powerful office on Earth.
If that were true, you expect that the Russians would go to great pains to protect such an asset.
Except they aren’t. If anything, they’re making things worse.
If they cared about protecting Trump, what’s the likelihood that Comey would have been fired the day before a meeting with Russian officials? What’s the likelihood that embarrassing information about that meeting would get leaked? What’s the likelihood that Russia would have allowed Syria to so terribly embarrass Trump by gassing civilians just hours after he publicly said the US has no interest in directly ousting the Syrian regime.
It doesn’t add up. None of it. Russia’s end goal is not Trump’s protection and utilization as an asset. The only thing that makes sense is that the end goal is to turn Trump’s presidency into a constitutional crisis.
Russia isn’t interested in Trump. Russia is interested in destroying Trump.
Don’t buy it? Then answer this one thing. Why should the Russians care about Trump?
There are only two reasons why they would tilt an election in his favor. Either they have him in their pocket — which isn’t consistent with what’s actually happening — or else they hated Hillary. But does that really fit with Putin’s realpolitik attitude? Would he risk a global confrontation just to wreck her dreams of Clinton becoming President? Would he risk seeing a populist wildcard elected?
No. He wouldn’t risk it unless there was another shoe to drop.
Russia surely wanted to hurt Clinton, but that was a secondary goal. This had a little bit to do with her and everything else to do with America. Putin ultimately wants to reduce American influence on the world stage, to throw it into such disarray that it recedes from the global theatre and concentrates on devouring its own entrails.
It looks to me like he’s succeeded. Here we stand, on the brink of the collapse of American Democracy, if only for a few weeks, but a collapse nonetheless. .
This is the tragedy. Not that Trump is incompetent as a President. But that the Russians have so masterfully manipulated the American mind that we now believe Trump is also treasonous.
Maybe Trump is all that, maybe his isn’t, but one thing is certain: the Russians don’t care about him. They care about destroying him.
Once that happens, once Russia reduces to rubble the foundations of both democratic parties, their triumph will be complete. There is now a wound in the side of America that will take years to heal. And it couldn’t have worked out better for Russia if they had planned it out in every detail
I’d like to say that the Great One’s Rye was a natural hat trick, but I confess I was terribly hung over the next morning.
Remember all the creepy clown sightings across America this summer?
Every day, someone was showing a picture on social media of something creeping out of the bushes with a wig and foam nose. It was all we could talk about.
And then, one day it was over, as if one of them became President and they were all like, “Can’t top that,” and bam it just stopped.
“I want my social contract made in the USA,” he told a press conference this morning. “This Rousseau guy, he’s an idiot. A complete failure. You know he hasn’t even been to America. Not once. And I’ve been to France. Believe me, I’ve been to France.”
Although the social contract, which deals with specific fundamental agreements of conduct between the government and the people they govern, has been in force for centuries, Trump cited it as one of the reasons America has lost its way.
“It’s been a disaster for America. An absolute disaster.”
A negotiated social contract, Trump said, would be far more favourable for Americans.
“Everyone needs a job, right? And there are people out there without jobs. It breaks my heart. I mean it kills me. And someone said to me, Donald, what are you going to do about it? Well, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. This new social contract is gonna be huge. It’s gonna be the best social contract the world has ever seen and it’s going to get us all jobs, because the social contract will allow us to make it illegal to be unemployed.”
When several reporters pointed out that the social contract necessarily included basic human rights, Trump assured everyone that the new social contract would contain “the best rights, huge rights.”
Members of the Trump’s staff also cautioned that some of the existing rights would be upgraded to new rights.
“Alternative rights,” said Sean Spicer, Trump’s Press Secretary.
Anything worth understanding is complicated. Easily obvious things are often not worth the time. Yet we vote for the people who make us think they can make us understand the nuances of a political argument in a five second soundbite.
Here’s what the Tragically Hip means to me, found in a memory, over 20 years old, high on a clearcut overlooking Mereworth Sound in the B.C. Rainforest.
The day was hot. I was tired, sore, strafed by a legion of mosquitoes, and I couldn’t quit because I was broke. All I had to push me forward through that day was a single cassette tape, Trouble At The Henhouse. I played it over and over again on my Walkman as I planted tree after tree across a jagged, ragged clearcut.
As I crested a rise, threw my tired body over deadfall, I came across a doe, grazing quietly. It looked up, dismissed me, and went back to it’s meal.
Only meters from the deer, my planting partner, Rob, sat on a stump, his legs crossed like he was deep in meditation. He was long past his life’s Best Before date: broke and broken, his hair ragged and tossed like a salad, hungover and angry at life, but that’s not who he was at that moment. All the tension in his shoulders gone, his face calm, serene. Only his eyes moved, from the deer, to me, back to the deer, which ambled slowly toward him until it looked up, stopped, sniffed his arm, and walked by.
If Rob wanted to, he could have run his hand over the deer’s back. But he didn’t. He lived in that moment, lived it perfectly, and let the deer walk in then out of his life.
I watched it all, not moving, The Tragically Hip blaring in my ears, the soundtrack of my life at that time and Gord Downie said that the world was a gift shop.
The song ended just as the deer moved out of sight, and Rob hopped down from the stump.
“I will never have a moment as perfect as that,” he said, and I didn’t answer because I didn’t have to.
Music matters; that’s a given, and it used to matter so much to me that it could keep me alive. But I fear that music no longer matters as much as it once did. Not to any of us.
With Spotify, Apple Music and iPhones, every song we want is available any time we want. We have fundamentally changed the way we listen to music, which means we have fundamentally changed its meaning.
Playlists are now specious, temporary things. We’ll never again be left with the agony of a 20 song mix, the only thing to listen to for eight hours driving from Quesnel to Vancouver. Or the tedium of cassettes listened to a dozen times each, the only thing that keeps you going over the autumn months at the northern tip of Vancouver Island.
We will never again be forced to listen to Fiddler’s Green over a hundred times in one season, with the last part of our mind dissecting the lyrics one more time before we fall asleep .
For myself, I have a list of people that I want to meet, and Gord Downie is on it. I don’t have anything of meaning to say to him. I just want to shake his hand. I just want to look him in the eye and say thank you.
Thank you for being the next song.